'Old remix albums don't work anymore'

Published Nov 17, 2013, 5:13 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 6:45 pm IST
Popular DJ and Bollywood remix artist on how the country's music scene has changed

Popularly known as DJ NYK, Nikhil Sahni began spinning the decks as a 17-year-old. He got his first Bollywood break with the official remix of Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Billu'. From then, until the recent blockbuster 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani', he's spun a long way indeed. “I've evolved as an artiste. I have scored the music for around 11 movies but I'm still learning and have a long way to go," says the winner of India's #1 Bollywood DJ twice in a row (based on popularity).

How did he get bitten by the DJing bug? “The love of music got me into DJing. I always wanted to become a music director, but DJing happened along the way. I was part of my school band and got into electronic music production. My teacher gave me my first software for song mixing. I won at competitions at school which gave me a which gave me a boost to produce music. I needed a medium to share my music; that's how I entered the profession," he recounts.


He plays in clubs across India and the world but points out the short life-span of a DJ. “An artist's shelf life is very small. It's easy to become successful but not so easy to sustain the success. That's how the music industry is; people come and go but if you're talented, you will certainly stay," remarks Nikhil, whose remix of 'Chamak Challo' from 'Ra.One' was selected by Sony PlayStation, making him the first Indian DJ to score a remix for a PlayStation video game.

How does he choose his music? “People in Hyderabad love Bollywood songs but they're also open to other genres. I don't stick to my music alone and play tracks by other DJs as well. At the end of the day, you should give the crowd what they enjoy," he shares.


“The music scene has changed a lot; old remix albums don't work anymore. A lot of DJs had taken old hits and remix them. I chose to stay away from that and got into movies instead; so that I could work on new songs. These days, every movie has remix versions of its popular songs," notes Nikhil.

He sees a future for himself as a music director: “I've been mixing for the last 13 years and want to explore new possibilities now. I want to devote more time to creating original music."

1. Party All Night by Honey Singh
2. Lungi Dance by Honey Singh
3. Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia
4. Work Hard, Play Hard by David Guetta
5. 1,2,3,4, Get on the Dance Floor from Chennai Express